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Flying Home From LHR To KUL On Board MH's A380  
User currently offlineJtnstar From Malaysia, joined Aug 2013, 26 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 11013 times:

Malaysia Airlines 4 (MH 4)
London Heathrow (LHR) to Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
Friday, 30th of August 2013
Depart: 10.30 p.m. (UK time)
Arrival: 6.40 p.m. (Malaysian time, next day)
Duration: 12 hours and 10 minutes
Aircraft: Airbus A380 (1st flight on 1.7.12)
Register: 9M-MNA
Seat: 74A (Economy Class – Lower Deck)


BACKGROUND


After reading many excellent trip reports on Airliners.net, I have decided to write my first trip report to share my inflight experience with you guys. I hope you will enjoy reading this TR and sorry for the relatively few pictures. Comments are the most welcomed!

After spending 5 days and 4 nights in the UK to get something important sorted out, it’s time for me to fly home on board Malaysia Airlines’ A380. At about 7.10 p.m. in the evening, after doing some shopping in London, I took the Heathrow Express from London Paddington to Terminal 3. As it does not go straight to Terminal 4 so I had to wait for the Heathrow Connect train which arrived 7 minutes later on the same platform.


CHECK-IN & SECURITY CHECK




I arrived at Terminal 4 at about 7.40 p.m. and went straight to the Enrich check-in counter. I was surprised to be informed by the ground agent that the flight today was overbooked because when I did my online check-in the day before, I noticed that there were quite a number of empty seats in economy class. It took less than 5 minutes as I only had one big luggage to be checked-in.

However the security check took quite a while as certain passengers were not familiar with the procedure, for example putting cosmetics in a sealed plastic bag, taking out laptops and tablets for security scan etc. The security officers had to guide some passengers through but they were quite patient in getting their jobs done.


DUTY FREE SHOPPING


After that I walked around Terminal 4 to do some last minute duty-free shopping to pass time. Initially I thought of having a late dinner at the airport but at last I did not have anything as I spent most of my time walking around. At about 9.10 p.m., when I was on my way to the boarding gate (normally gate C5), I stopped by at Boots to buy a bottle of mineral water to keep myself hydrated during the flight.


BOARDING


When I was approaching the gate, there was already a huge crowd waiting there indicating that there will be a full flight tonight. About 5 minutes later, passengers travelling with children, those travelling in First and Business class and frequent-flyers were invited to board the aircraft. As I am an Enrich Silver card holder, I was able to board the aircraft ahead of other passengers.

As I had done quite some shopping at the terminal so both my hands were full, luckily a Chinese air stewardess helped me to put my shopping bags on my seat. I then stored my cabin luggage and shopping bags in the overhead compartment and settled down on my seat. My seat 74 A was located in the last cabin of economy class on the lower deck. My seat was special in the way that it's a window seat with direct access to the aisle as there wasn’t a seat in front on the first row which was right beside an emergency exit. I paid MYR 150 for my seat (a premium seat) when I secured my booking.


BEFORE & AFTER TAKE-OFF


Malaysian Hospitality starts from the ground! I noticed that the flight attendants served some passengers water on the ground. Before the take-off, as I was seated in front of an emergency exit, a flight attendant helped me to store my handbag in the overhead compartment. The cabin light was dimmed during the take-off but I was a bit disappointed due to the lack of mood lighting in Y class which would greatly enhance the inflight experience. The aircraft was not quite stable when it was gaining altitude due to the strong wind. As two female flight attendants were seated on the crew seat right in front of me, I requested for ear plugs as the cabin was quite noisy. I was promptly given the ear plugs after the seat belt sign was off.

The flight attendants handed out headphones to passengers after the take-off. I told one of them that I do not need one as I have got my own pair of headphones. When I was struggling to take out the PTV which was stored underneath my seat a male FA taught me how to do it. I later found out that there was a problem with the IFE system on my seat as it kept on bumped back to main screen while I was trying to use it. I requested for a reboot which was responded promptly by G who was the best female attendant I met in this flight. After a second reboot by another flight attendant the IFE system finally worked.


DRINK & MEAL SERVICE


The FA’s later served drinks when the airplane had climbed to a safe altitude. The drinks included water, apple juice and orange juice. They came for two rounds after all passengers were served and came around shortly with a generous basketful of MH’s renowned own-branded peanuts.



About 30 minutes later, our first meal was served. There were two choices on offer – beef brisket with potatoes and chicken with mashed potatoes and vegetables. I was surprised that there wasn’t an oriental or Asian choice on offer and decided to choose the former. I still think that MH should offer three instead of two main courses so that passengers have got more choices to choose from which other premium carriers do. My meal tasted okay overall. The flavour of the dish was good but the beef was perhaps a bit on the dry side and portion was a bit small for me. The main course was a bit cold as it wasn’t heated up thoroughly whereas the starter and desert wasn’t cold enough.



The second meal was served about 3 hours before landing where we were flying across the Bay of Bengal and started to experience some mild turbulence. Despite the turbulence, the FA’s conducted the meal service in a very organised manner which deserved particular praise. This time I had chicken curry with basmati rice which was much better than my first meal. The main course was heated up properly this time and the chicken curry was rich and flavourful. When I asked for a drink, I was generously offered a can of Pepsi.

However I was disappointed because the starter and desert was basically the same as what I had in late June on the same flight (MH 4). It seems to me that MH should update their menu from time to time so that frequent flyers like me do not get the same thing over and over again.


THE INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM (IFE)


After the first meal, I slept quite comfortably for about 4.30 hours as I have got plenty of leg room, in addition to the travel pillow which I brought along with me. When I woke up, I tried to use the IFE system to check out the flight map but it just did not work. I pressed the service button and a FA came to me promptly and tried to help me to reset the IFE once again but to no avail. He told me that this will his last try to reboot the system because he was afraid that this might affect other passengers. I then had to wait for 10 minutes to see if it worked. As my phone battery was running low, I decided to charge my phone using the USB port on my seat but it wasn’t working as well. The passenger seated beside me kindly allowed me to use her USB port during the flight.

The male FA then came over to my seat again and I told him about my situation. He apologised for the faulty IFE on my seat. I also asked if there were any empty seats which I could move over but unfortunately the flight was full. He told me that he’ll speak to his boss (the inflight supervisor) to compensate me.

Actually, about 1.5 hours before landing, G came over to my seat and asked if I want to go over to the blocked crew seats to use the IFE which was a really nice move. I told her that it's fine because I was able to use my I Pad to watch some pre-downloaded shows. The inflight supervisor came after I finished my second meal and offered me a MYR 100 shopping voucher which I accepted. The voucher is valid for 6 months.


CHATTING IN THE GALLEY


After I tried to sort out the IFE, I went to the galley (which was on my right) to get a drink to quench my thirst. This time G, the female FA who helped me earlier on was working on her own in the galley. I then had a conversation with her about MH as an airline generally. We talked about MH’s plan to phase out the current ageing Boeing 777-200ER’s and possible replacement aircrafts which were rumored to be the A350s. She told me that management decisions are unpredictable and are often subject to change. Nothing is certain until the final decision is made.

We then talked about MH’s competitiveness in relation to other airlines. Cost cutting measures are evident as there is no hot towel service, amenity kit and menu handed out in Y. It is actually a nice thing provide an amenity kit in Y class which is not so common in the airline industry today. Small things like these do count!

Interestingly, the upper deck front business class cabin was supposed to be the first class cabin when the A380s were configured. MH has currently got insufficient crews trained to serve the A380s. During my previous flight, I heard some FA's have got to fly to either London or Paris almost every week which could be very exhausting. She told me that she flies to London so frequently that she could call it her second home. During our conversation, she kept the galley very clean and tidy and was constantly wiping the surfaces. I told her that MH should realise that their best assets are actually their dedicated crew! She then promised bring me to the crew rest area at the end of the flight.


THE CREW BUNK VISIT



Sorry about the poor image quality

MH’s crew bunk is located at the end of the upper deck right behind the Y class galley. I didn’t expect the rest area to be so spacious that it is able to rest up to 12 people each time. G told me that their resting time is 3 hours for a standard 12 hour flight from London. I had a unique experience of lying down on one of the beds which was quite comfortable but I have found the space to be a bit cramped, She helped me to capture a few pictures in the crew bunk.


The cabin after passengers disembarked


CONCLUSION


Overall, this was a great flight served by a lovely set of crew despite the lack of IFE (I was just unlucky). Having flown MH so frequently (especially the KL-LHR-KL route), I am happy to say that things in MH have started to get better with the deployment of new aircrafts albeit the slow progress. One thing good about MH is that service is generally quite consistent on long-haul flights. In order to truly deserve the name of a "five-star" carrier ("five-star" certification is a completely different story), MH should really improve on both its soft and hard products. I hope to see improvements in things like the IFE system, the maintenance of aircrafts, the frequent-flyer program and the presentation of meals. I sincerely hope that MH will shine in the future as the national carrier of Malaysia and as a five-star airline.

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinepokfur From Singapore, joined Aug 2013, 293 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 9732 times:
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Hello Jtnstar and Welcome!

It's great to see that you received very hospitable treatment on your flight on MH. I recently flew them from SIN-PER via KUL and while my outbound flight was excellent, the service on my return sector was more than dismal with a really unhappy FA serving my side. I am flying them again from SIN-LHR via KUL at the end of the month, which made me particularly interested in your report. My hopes are high!!

Quoting Jtnstar (Thread starter):
I paid MYR 150 for my seat (a premium seat) when I secured my booking.

That seems like a really exorbitant fee!! But MH's less-than-stellar online check-in system can land you with a middle seat and no way of changing seats at all if the flight is full. I guess the legroom makes it well worth it..

Quoting Jtnstar (Thread starter):
My seat 74 A was located in the last cabin of economy class on the lower deck.

Why didn't you go for the upper deck since you were already paying?

Quoting Jtnstar (Thread starter):
MH’s renowned own-branded peanuts.

I have to agree completely. On my flights, I kept taking seconds.. and thirds.. and..

Quoting Jtnstar (Thread starter):
I didn’t expect the rest area to be so spacious that it is able to rest up to 12 people each time.

MH should consider renting out these crew rests to Y class passengers and charging them per hour of sleep!!   

Thanks for the great report!

pokfur


User currently offlineJtnstar From Malaysia, joined Aug 2013, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 9586 times:

Hi pokfur,

Thanks for reading and commenting on my first TR. The reason why I didn't go for the upper deck is because all seats were gone with only 1 random seat left when I did my booking.

Good luck for your upcoming flight to LHR with MH! I'll be flying MH to Perth in mid September and I am really looking forward to the flight. Another flight with MH will be from KUL to LHR at the end of September so there is a chance that we might be on the same flight.

I have got a question here. How could I add more pictures to my TR? I tried to upload more pictures but the space is limited so I couldn't put more pictures.



[Edited 2013-09-02 00:45:12]

User currently offlinedirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 587 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (1 year 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 9389 times:

Hi Jtnstar,

Selamat Datang or Welcome aboard the TR forum on a-net. Congratulations for your first trip report, MH looks to offer a good product in Economy on the A380.

Quoting Jtnstar (Thread starter):
I noticed that the flight attendants served some passengers water on the ground.

Wow, welcome drinks in Economy? Seems they are slowly catching up with the competition in the region. Did the flight attendant served you pre-departure drinks too?

Quoting Jtnstar (Thread starter):
cost cutting measures are evident as there is no hot towel service, amenity kit and menu handed out in Y.

It is sad that MH have to go into these measures.

Quoting Jtnstar (Thread starter):
I didn’t expect the rest area to be so spacious

That was my impression too! Looks very spacious, with 12 beds. I wonder though, how many cabin crews were there on each MH A380 flight?

Quoting Jtnstar (Reply 2):
How could I add more pictures to my TR?

Hopefully I could help you on this one. You could add more pictures to your trip report by uploading the pictures to your photobucket or flickr account first (it is recommended that your pictures were re-sized before being uploaded).



Once all the pictures uploaded. In flickr, you can click 'share' on each picture, and copy each picture's BBcode to your trip report at this website.



Similarly, on photobucket there are "Image links" or "links to share this photo" when you clicked on each picture. Just copy the IMG link to your trip report here in a-net and the pictures would be inside your trip report.

I hope this helps you inserting more pictures into your future trip reports. If you have any further question don't hesitate to drop me a PM, hopefully I could help.

Thanks for sharing your MH experience with us, and looking forward to more of your trip reports.

Regards,
Dirktraveller.


User currently offlineJtnstar From Malaysia, joined Aug 2013, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 9265 times:

HI dirktraveller,

Thanks for reading and commenting on my TR.

Quoting dirktraveller (Reply 3):
Wow, welcome drinks in Economy? Seems they are slowly catching up with the competition in the region. Did the flight attendant served you pre-departure drinks too?

Actually the FA served water to passengers who asked for drinks before the take-off. I wasn't served because I didn't ask for a drink.

Quoting dirktraveller (Reply 3):
I wonder though, how many cabin crews were there on each MH A380 flight?

There was a total of 22 cabin crews on my flight.

Quoting dirktraveller (Reply 3):
Hopefully I could help you on this one. You could add more pictures to your trip report by uploading the pictures to your photobucket or flickr account first (it is recommended that your pictures were re-sized before being uploaded).

Thanks for your help! If I have any queries, I'll PM you.

Best regards,
Jtnstar.


User currently offlinepokfur From Singapore, joined Aug 2013, 293 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 8800 times:
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Hey Jtnstar,

Quoting Jtnstar (Reply 2):
The reason why I didn't go for the upper deck is because all seats were gone with only 1 random seat left when I did my booking.

Ok that makes sense.. Does this mean that many people actually pay for their seats?!

Quoting Jtnstar (Reply 2):
Another flight with MH will be from KUL to LHR at the end of September so there is a chance that we might be on the same flight.

If I see someone clicking away with his camera I'll know it's you!!

Quoting Jtnstar (Reply 2):
I have got a question here. How could I add more pictures to my TR?

I guess Dirktraveller has answered your question already. Even I don't use his method, so it's new to me. What I do is to upload my photos onto Facebook and link the image address from there. This method clearly shows that Facebook photos can be easily accessed even if a person isn't my friend. Haha.

pokfur


User currently offlinedirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 587 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (1 year 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 8668 times:

Hi Jtnstar and Pokfur

Quoting Jtnstar (Reply 4):
Actually the FA served water to passengers who asked for drinks before the take-off. I wasn't served because I didn't ask for a drink.

I see, at least serving pre-takeoff drinks upon request is a good gesture. Thumbs up for MH.  
Quoting pokfur (Reply 5):
What I do is to upload my photos onto Facebook and link the image address from there.

This is the first time I heard of this method. Looks like there are many ways to upload your pictures to the a-net thread. It looks simpler than my method, but on the other hand, as you said it proves how vulnerable our facebook pictures are. Nonetheless, thanks for sharing this one Pokfur.

Regards,
Dirktraveller.


User currently offlineJtnstar From Malaysia, joined Aug 2013, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 8659 times:

Hi pokfur,

Quoting pokfur (Reply 5):
Does this mean that many people actually pay for their seats?!

Yes. All upper deck Y seats are premium seats so there will be a charge of MYR 150. Normally the upper deck cabin is very popular among passengers. Have you selected your seat for your KUL-LHR flight?

I have got a question here. How is SQ's economy class meal compared to MH's?

Jtnstar.


User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1201 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (1 year 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 8581 times:

Don't complain.

Compared to US airlines MH is heaven. Decent meals and decent legroom.


User currently offlinepokfur From Singapore, joined Aug 2013, 293 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6943 times:
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Hi Jtnstar,

Quoting Jtnstar (Reply 7):
All upper deck Y seats are premium seats

Oh I see. What a waste. I really like the upper deck of the A380   

Quoting Jtnstar (Reply 7):
Have you selected your seat for your KUL-LHR flight?

No, because I do not think it is worth it to pay for a seat. I am hoping that the flight isn't completely full so that I can choose one when online check in opens. This is where MH fails compared to many other asian carriers. Sigh.

Quoting Jtnstar (Reply 7):
I have got a question here. How is SQ's economy class meal compared to MH's?

Honestly I haven't sat SQ's Y class for several years now. But I believe the standards aren't too far apart. My return flight from UK to SIN should be on SQ (not confirmed yet and I am starting to panic!!) and perhaps I can compare then!

pokfur


User currently offlineJtnstar From Malaysia, joined Aug 2013, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6840 times:

Hi pokfur,

Its nice to see you again.

Quoting pokfur (Reply 9):
I am hoping that the flight isn't completely full so that I can choose one when online check in opens.

I do hope that you can get a good seat by then. You should do your online check-in as soon as it's open. Do you generally prefer exit row seats?

Quoting pokfur (Reply 9):
Honestly I haven't sat SQ's Y class for several years now. But I believe the standards aren't too far apart. My return flight from UK to SIN should be on SQ (not confirmed yet and I am starting to panic!!) and perhaps I can compare then!

I do hope that you return flight on SQ could be confirmed as soon as possible so that you get to review the new J seats. Is there anything special about SQ's newly updated Y seats?

Jtnstar.

[Edited 2013-09-06 08:48:21]

[Edited 2013-09-06 08:49:44]

User currently offlineJtnstar From Malaysia, joined Aug 2013, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6828 times:

Hi lychemsa,

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 8):

Thanks for your comment. Asian carriers do provide better hard and soft products in general. Have you been on any flights by any Asian carriers recently?

Jtnstar.


User currently offlinepokfur From Singapore, joined Aug 2013, 293 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6281 times:
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Hey Jtnstar,

Quoting Jtnstar (Reply 10):
Do you generally prefer exit row seats?

Not particularly. I do quite like having a footrest, which an exit row would not have. Having said that, I don't think I have ever sat at an exit row seat in my life so I wouldn't know for sure haha.

Quoting Jtnstar (Reply 10):
I do hope that you return flight on SQ could be confirmed as soon as possible so that you get to review the new J seats.

Unfortunately, I have decided to give up on the wait list in J. Y class is completely full too so no point there. Instead, I managed to confirm a Y seat from MAN-SIN which sadly won't be the new product  
Quoting Jtnstar (Reply 10):
Is there anything special about SQ's newly updated Y seats?

I think the biggest difference is the larger IFE screen (not that the current screen is puny...) and new IFE system. Seats are supposed to be wider, but armrests are narrower. They also added little pockets on top of the normal seat pockets to store your phones and small mobile devices. That's about as much as Y can improve, really.

I hope one day to watch 3D movies on board!!

pokfur


User currently offlineJtnstar From Malaysia, joined Aug 2013, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5348 times:

Hi pokfur,

Quoting pokfur (Reply 12):
Unfortunately, I have decided to give up on the wait list in J. Y class is completely full too so no point there. Instead, I managed to confirm a Y seat from MAN-SIN which sadly won't be the new product

It's okay. I think you'll somehow get to try the new seats in the future. The MAN-SIN flight is not a direct flight right?

Regards,
Jtnstar.


User currently offlinecanadiantree From France, joined Jun 2006, 129 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5139 times:

Fabulous report sir. I was in KL just last week, absolutely loved it! Amazing how cheap Apple products are over there!

User currently offlinepokfur From Singapore, joined Aug 2013, 293 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5066 times:
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Hi again!

Quoting Jtnstar (Reply 13):
I think you'll somehow get to try the new seats in the future.

Yes, I'm sure I will when it eventually becomes the standard seats across the fleet haha.

Quoting Jtnstar (Reply 13):
The MAN-SIN flight is not a direct flight right?

Nope, it stops in Munich. The timing isn't great either for me, but I figured it was this or be stranded in the UK!! Now I'm just having a hard time deciding whether to take a window or aisle seat since it's a 15 hours (including stopover) day flight...    Views vs convenience??

pokfur


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